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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 05, 1961


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    A report on a conversation with the Ambassador from the DPRK addressing North Korea’s economy, the split in the communist camp, and disagreements with Nikita Khrushchev.
    "Report on a Meeting with the Ambassador of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea," November 05, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AQPPSH, MPP Korese, V. 1961, D8. Translated by Enkel Daljani.
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November 5, 1961

This meeting was held by his request.

At the beginning the conversation centered on the news from Korea, their congress and the agricultural results in his country during the last year. On these topics, the ambassador pointed out that there had been 32 foreign delegations attending their congress, that all had spoken well of PDR of Korea, and that some of them had been pleasantly surprised at the great successes that have been achieved in the area of economic development in DPR of Korea.

He asked about the agricultural production of this year and said that the production of bread in-country is of outmost importance. On this topic, he mentioned how in Korea they produced 380 kg of grains per capita during last year and that this year they achieved the goal of 450 kg per capita. He said, “I will be very happy when the issue of the production of grains is completely solved in Albania.”

Then he talked about the visits of our delegation around Korea, that they had the desire that our delegation spend more time there, and asked for forgiveness for any flaws that there may have been in the organization of the reception and the visits by the delegation. He said that Comrade Kim Il Sung paid specific attention to our delegation: while the other delegations had audiences of around half an hour with him, and other delegations were received together and not one by one, our delegation was received by him by itself, they had a friendly conversation, and it had lasted for longer than two hours.

On these topics, I expressed to him our congratulations for the successes that were enumerated during their congress. I told him that they had made our entire Albanian people happy, which was widely informed about the proceedings of their congress. I told him a few things about this year’s agricultural production, and that the delegation of the ALP that had gone to Korea had returned very happy.

Then the ambassador gave me two copies of the principal materials from the congress (the reports and the resolutions), one, as he put it, for the CC of the party, and the other for me.

He went on for such a long time on the above topics that it became apparent that the real reason for the meeting was not to give me the materials from the congress, but for those topics he touched upon later. He was given the chance to get into those topics when I told him about the problems that the soviets caused to Comrade Manush when he was returning from China to Albania. On this, he immediately asked, “But how will this situation get in the future?”

I told him that this was decided by Khrushchev during the 20th Congress of the CP of the Soviet Union and asked him whether he was completely in the know about the lowly slander that Khrushchev threw against our party and its leadership. After he answered in the positive, I spoke to him about the stance of our party, which published all the slander from Khrushchev, and about how they have revolted immensely not only the communists, but the entire Albanian people. I spoke to him about the Declaration of the CC over the slandering campaign that continues to this day in the soviet press and in those of the other socialist countries of Europe, and reiterated that our party will always answer Khrushchev fittingly.  

The Korean ambassador said that the disagreements must be solved with patience, that they do not serve the interest of the unity of the socialist camp and of the international communist movement, and that is why it would be prudent that our leaders meet those of the Soviet Union and discuss and solve the disagreements.

I answered him that on this issue Khrushchev lies openly to the congress and to the entire international communist movement when he declares that he and his friends have exhausted all possibilities to come to an understanding with our party, but that we have not answered positively. I told him that the correct course for the solution of the disagreements has for a long time now been clarified by our party and their party knows this already. Khrushchev must cease and desist from all the brutal political and economic pressure, because that is the only way the possibility for results through talks can be created. But these talks cannot be held and would not even help in the solution of the disagreements for as long as our party is put on an uneven position and as long as the multisided threats and pressure against it continue. Not only did Khrushchev not answer to this request from our party, but very quickly sent a lowly letter in which he uses the same slander and lies that for ten years in a row now we have been listening from Belgrade; and in the 22nd Congress he announced open war against our party, accusing our leadership that it has placed itself at the service of imperialism and by calling on the people to rise against it.

The ambassador nodded continually at all this and again repeated what he had said previously stressing that we communists must be patient, because we are revolutionaries, that such disagreements happen, and that we must not concentrate on little things, because the main thing is the issue of the unity of the international communist movement and the socialist camp, especially in this political situation that we live in, and that is why meetings of the high levels are necessary.

I told him that here we are not talking about little issues (he pulled back from that claim immediately), but about issues of principles. Our party will answer to Khrushchev by keeping clearly in mind its responsibilities to the Albanian people, to the socialist camp, and to the international communist movement. It is Khrushchev and those that support him that are hurting unity and it is us who are fighting precisely for the strengthening of the unity of the international communist movement and the socialist camp. I explained to him that what Khrushchev is saying against us is in fact the real diversion in the entire international communist movement. I explained to him that in the Moscow Conference there were also other parties that were not in agreement with some of the conclusions of the 20th Congress and in the appraisement that he made to the cult of individuality, amongst which was also the Labor Party of Korea. Nonetheless, Khrushchev singles out only our party in this. It is clear that his intentions are far-reaching (the ambassador nodded at this). Amongst them, he is trying to send a message to parties, which, just like we, have their own points of view about the 20th Congress of the CP of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, in the closing speech Khrushchev went even further (I repeated to the ambassador what Khrushchev had said). Then I asked him, “In these conditions, what kind of meeting can we talk about?”

The ambassador replied, “Comrade [General Secretary of the Korean Worker’s Party (KWP)] Kim Il Sung talked at length about these issues with Comrade [First Vice-Chairman of the Ministerial Council, Minister of Learning and Culture and Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC] Manush Myftiu. He told Comrade Manush that the Korean Workers’ Party supports and stands by the ALP with Comrade Enver Hoxha at its helm on all issues. This is a position we still hold even now after the 22nd Congress of the CP of the Soviet Union. But we also hold that the disagreements, whichever they may be, must be solved in the basis of Marxism-Leninism. People can make mistakes. Marxism-Leninism teaches us that to criticize these mistakes and accept responsibility with courage. We should first solve the principal issues and then the smaller ones. We all work toward one goal—the construction of socialism. Then, it is possible for us to reach an understanding no matter how hard this may be. You are communists and we (the Koreans) say that they are also communists. As long as we are communists, we must meet together to discuss and solve our misunderstandings. I think that the mediation from a third party will not produce any results. The disagreements must be solved between yourselves, because the main thing is the unity of the international communist movement and the socialist camp.”

I told him that, “the Marxism-Leninism course of solving disagreements is that which our party has proposed. We have expressed our concerns directly to the soviet leadership and have put them forth only between communists. Khrushchev’s activity shows that all that has happened is not just a simple mistake on his part, but that there exists a complete plan, worked out long time ago, and well thought out; a plan which seeks to hurt more than just our party and country. Even if we Albanians really are ‘dogmatic,’ like Khrushchev likes to say, or ‘warmongers’ as Zhivkov likes to say, is it really possible that we can be such a great danger to the international communist movement and to world peace? (The ambassador laughed and nodded his approval). Khrushchev himself closed all possibilities for meetings such as the one you speak of, Comrade Ambassador, at the 22nd Congress. Furthermore, I think that here we are not talking about communists, but in fact about opportunists and revisionists, who must be unmasked. We did not choose this road. It was imposed on us by Khrushchev. For us to close our mouths in these conditions, will mean accepting in silence what Khrushchev says about us, which you know very well that we absolutely are not. Isn’t it so? (The ambassador nodded approvingly). On the other hand, we would not be acting correctly if we continued to keep this lowly activity by Khrushchev under wraps. I believe you will not oppose my opinion if I say that the example of patience in this course of events has been given by our party and not Khrushchev”

The ambassador nodded approvingly and then said, “You, yourself said that our disagreements serve the interests of imperialism, which is making a big deal about them. It is imperative that this patience stay and that it continue even in the future. Through critique and sincere auto critique we can patiently solve all issues.”

I told him that since disagreements of this kind serve the interests of imperialism, then we must put the finger on those who are responsible for giving such weapons to the imperialists. Then I asked him, “For what could we possibly make auto critique?”

The Korean ambassador laughed and said, “Well, they can also make auto critique.”

I answered that, as far as I am concerned, this is not even an issue because they are conscious of their activities. Should they make auto critique, it would spell doom for Khrushchev’s group.

The ambassador laughed loudly and standing up to leave he thanked me for the conversation. He also said that in the future he would like it very much if we continued to exchange opinions, if I would also agree to it.

I told him that the doors of the CC have been and will continue to be open to him and to all of our true friends.

November 5, 1961 Piro Bita